Other Free Encyclopedias » Famous Sports Stars » Baseball » Roger Maris Biography - Just A Summer Sport, Moves To Majors, 61*, Chronology, Heads To St. Louis

Roger Maris - Overdue Honors

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In 1991 Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent announced that the asterisk next to Maris' record would be removed. Maris' accomplishments were commemorated on a 1999 postage stamp, and his race to break Babe Ruth's record, and the accompanying controversy, was chronicled in the 2001 Billy Crystal film 61*.

Maris' record stood until September 8, 1998, when the Cardinals' Mark McGwire hit homerun number 62 with five of Maris' six children in attendance. After his ball cleared the fence, McGwire hugged all of the Marises and told them he had rubbed their father's bat for good luck that day.

Career Statistics

Yr Team Avg GP AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB E
CLE: Cleveland Indians; KCA: Kansas City Athletics; NYY: New York Yankees; STL: St. Louis Cardinals.
1957 CLE .235 116 358 61 84 14 51 60 79 8 7
1958 CLE/KCA 240 150 583 87 140 28 80 45 85 4 9
1959 KCA .273 122 433 69 118 16 72 58 53 2 6
1960 NYY .283 136 499 98 141 39 112 70 65 2 4
1961 NYY .269 161 590 132 159 61 142 94 67 0 9
1962 NYY .256 157 590 92 151 33 100 87 78 1 3
1963 NYY .269 90 312 53 84 23 53 35 40 1 2
1964 NYY .281 141 513 86 144 26 71 62 78 3 1
1965 NYY .239 46 155 22 37 8 27 29 29 0 2
1966 NYY .233 119 348 37 81 13 43 36 60 0 1
1967 STL .261 125 410 64 107 9 55 52 61 0 2
1968 STL .255 100 310 25 79 5 45 24 38 0 3
TOTAL .260 1463 5101 826 1325 275 851 652 733 21 49

Awards and Accomplishments

1952 Set national high school record for scoring four touchdowns on returns in one game
1953 Class C Northern League Rookie of the Year
1960 Gold Glove Award
1960-61 American League MVP
1961 Hit 61 homeruns, beating Babe Ruth's record
1961 Awarded Hickok Belt
1961 Sultan of Swat Award
1984 Number retired by Yankees

Today, McGwire is not the only one remembering Maris in a much fonder light. Although Maris' record has been broken several times, most recently by the San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds, the Yankee great's place in the annals of baseball history is both secure and, finally, unqualified. Still, one honor remains to be bestowed: induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Editor Steve Forbes has called for such an action in his influential financial magazine Forbes and a Web site,

Roger Maris

(61*)

The race between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle for Babe Ruth's home run record was chronicled in the 2001 HBO film 61*. The asterisk in the title refers to the qualification then-Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick, who also was the ghostwriter of Ruth's autobiography, attached to the record. Produced and directed by comedian and die-hard New York Yankees fan Billy Crystal and filmed at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, 61* is not so much a story of an athletic rivalry as it is an attempt to dispel the media-driven myth that Maris and Mantle were enemies, and to portray the intense public pressure placed on Maris by both the press and fans of Mantle and Ruth. "Why does everybody only have room in their hearts for one guy?" Maris, played by Barry Pepper, asks at one point in the film. Playing Maris took its toll on Pepper, who gained a deep appreciation of the stress the legendary Yankee suffered. "When I first read the script, I had nightmares," he told the St. Petersburg Times. "It was hard not to feel for all that Maris went through that year. He was just a farm boy … stuck in the middle of Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle's legacy."

www.ndrogermaris.com, has been dedicated to influencing the officials at Cooperstown. Two books, Maris, Missing from the Hall of Fame and Roger Maris: Title to Fame also make the case for induction.

Roger Maris - Career Statistics [next] [back] Roger Maris - Heads To St. Louis

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